in: The National Interest, Issue 134
Even Pres Obama's dwindling residue of faithfuls and retainers should not wager on his rewriting the history books in his closing two years. A presidency that began with lofty expectations has devolved into steadily defining them down, at home and abroad. The result has been prolonged paralysis. Obama flowers in abstract intellectual discourse, but has been defiantly oblivious to hardheaded strategy. And strategy is the essence of power. Obama still has the time and the power to stop the terrorists about to lodge themselves in the Middle East, from whence they will threaten the rest of the world. The US needs to strengthen its military presence in the region. The purpose is not to threaten China; it is to reassure all parties that differences are not going to be settled by military force. US power should be deployed to convey a calming effect and to reassure the region that no state is going to be intimidated into subservience. Adapted from the source document.